Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tell Me A Story

Next stops (or is that steps?)
for "Bus Ride" stories.

Storytelling As A Path To Peace:

Bus Ride Story Online Interactive

5 peace action steps you can take right now. 

1. Pledge to:

Share our online bus ride story with, at least one other person, over coffee, by email, in person, by phone, in a gathering of friends etc. within 24 hours.

2. Follow your pledge up by telling a story of your own creation to, at least, one other person within 24 hours (instructions are below).

3. Invite, at least, one other person, to read our online bus ride story and tell you a story back.

4. Then answer the questions that follow your "imagining" and the responses it evokes in you (and the others).

To start your imaginiong and your follow up conversation.

a. Imagine yourself on a bus trip full of strangers, as discribed on Murat's Bus Ride Story,. Then tell your own story about what our story (posted online at this link) makes you hope, feel or think.

b. Do you think that the way people treat each other on a daily basis can make a difference in solving the current problems of our nation?

Why? How? Or, why not?

5. If you follow our conversation guidelines with serious intent, storytelling as a path to peace should be your next easy step. 

Done with zest, you will run out of time, way before you run out of stories.

Good luck.

Let us know how your imaginings and conversations turn out.

If you have trouble posting your comments, please send them to me:

Anastasia at: 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Careful Observation

If you missed our Abkhazian Dinner event, look forward to an online version of our labyrinth-like bus ride story and its interactive adventure soon. The Bus Ride story of our dinner is based on our edited version of Murat's original Bus Ride story. Or plan to be there for the next Abkhazian Dinner event. The best is yet to come.

The following will be pertinent for Abkhazian Dinner attendees. 

Note: If you did not attend the event, you can play our game by reading our edited version of the story and getting your friends to participate with you. And, also, by staying in touch with me (Anastasia) by posting comments. Please send your comments to me for posting, if you have trouble doing posting directly. We are having technical difficulties in this area and are trying to correct them.

As Murat stresses in his “Bus Ride” story, the speaker’s formula for a social game can take any group to “awe.”

The bottom line requirement for this attainment is this: whoever signs on for the ride must adhere to a daily self-assessment of the following questions and related observations in order to reach this peak. This, careful observation, is one of the essential first steps that is necessary for personal and social transformation.

Our Bus Ride Story
Abkhazian Dinner Event
March 25, 2012
1. Did I give myself to full participation on the imaginary bus ride story of the Abkhazian Dinner event as storyteller, Sue deVeer, recounted it?

2. Was I able to do my part to engender a general sense of overall well-being in my Bus Ride discussion group as a result of:

a. Reflecting on Murat’s Bus Ride story (our edited version) and/or

b. My innate ability to be loving and to apply clarity and commitment to all my relations in a manner that spontaneously led this group (as well as any other group within which I participate) to seem, albeit briefly, like a community?

What are my strengths that help generate a group vibration of well-being and peace?

3. If my behavior did not help to engender this overall vibration of peace and well-being in my discussion group, ask yourself, what are my weaknesses that interfered with this end?

a. Who/what around me in my small group, bus ride experience seemed to be difficult for me to be with in “awe”?

b.  How could I have augmented my strengths or improved upon my weaknesses to help raise up this situation or “difficult” person?

Use the linked assessment, also offered on page 4 of your Abkhazian Dinner event handout, to guide your inventory.

More to come as our labyrinth-like Bus Ride story discussion/journey continues.

Labyrinth Defined.

Question: How can a bus ride be like a labyrinth?

Murat's "Bus Ride" story
offers us a formula for
personal and social spiritual

Labyrinth Defined. A labyrinth can be defined as symbolic of the journey to the center of oneself, an aid for learning about the spiritual path.

Answer #1: A bus ride can be like a labyrinth when it is experienced, not only as a trip on a vehicle of physical transportation, but as a vehicle for personal transformation that might include social transformation as well.

In the coming weeks, we (Sue and I) will seek to demonstrate how the year’s Abkhazian Dinner event was the beginning of a spiritual journey of personal and social transformation for all who choose to sign on.

Same article also posted today on Anastasia The Storyteller.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How Are A Labyrinth And A Bus Ride Similar?

At first the notion of a bus ride and a labyrinth being similar seemed strikingly incongruous, even to me, the one who was suggesting it. People reading what I was writing about this kinship would think I wasn’t making any sense at all.
How can a bus ride and a
labryrith be similar?

If a bus ride could be comparable to a labyrinth, don’t you think you would get lost? Especially just when you were intending to head some place more definite? Why else be on a bus in the first place? Just thinking about it makes me a bit dizzy. Still the likeness between the two came to my mind this morning. And, since I am not one to dismiss things I think out of hand, I paid it some heed. You know, training in Freudian slips and all that stuff.

Still thinking I could not yet offer words of my own to describe how I experienced yesterday’s Abkhazian Dinner event, I eventually wound up calling “My Sue” about this puzzlement I had brought upon myself. Obviously as I had already done the online search work of locating a suitable labyrinth graphic, I wasn’t completely ready to put my idea, harebrained though it might be, aside. Words were not coming easily to me this day. Besides I had already drafted the article for Anastasia The Storyteller, though I wasn’t certain as to whether or not to post it.

Sue, my dear Sue, always by my side whether she’s there physically or not, loved what I wrote. (I often read my writings to her for input and feedback.) She thought it was awesome!

“But, Sue, said I, I’m not sure that what I wrote makes any sense. It seems so kind of “out there,” so abstract. I’m not sure myself I even understand what I wrote.”

“You understand it,” said Sue. “You have a brilliant ability to connect the dots of things and see them, often way ahead of what others are able to see. Your being blind, apparently, helped develop this visionary ability in you, I believe. Trust yourself. Trust your sight. You know what you see.”

“It’s true there isn’t much about what you are saying that’s concrete. There is, however, one thing people that attended the Abkhazian Dinner might be able to see. With your words, you have drawn out some of the road map from Murat’s “Bus Ride” story and made it visible.”

Go figure, said I to myself as I, proceeded to let go of my trepidation and post that article.

Thought for the day:
How can a labyrinth and a bus ride be similar?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why is this Night, Abkhazian Dinner Night, Sunday, March 25, Different?

The Abkhazian Dinner is different from all other New Horizons events and particularly special!
Why and how?
This is the night New Horizons, on behalf of the Season For Non-Violence, gives honor to Murat Yagan, last living Elder of the 26,000 year old ancient Abkhazian tradition, Ahmsta Kebzeh, and Murat's dedication and devotion to making the world a better place. One of the ways we show this respect is by cooking and eating traditional Abkhazian food.

Murat has been personally mentoring Anastasia and guiding the unfolding of the “new” New Horizons since 1999.

Join us for this very special event!

Feast on food native to ancient Abkhazia, a culture of the Caucasus Mountains, known worldwide for its vast contributions to longevity, spirituality and peace.

Learn how and why New Horizons is incorporating ancient traditions of Abkhazia into the design of the Possible Human, Possible Society Study.

Participate in a community unity-building “group dialogue” before dinner. Dialogue theme: Storytelling as a Path to Peace.

Murat visits us from British Columbia by video presentation.
Special before (2:30 p.m.) program begins and during dinner.

Reservations: or call 240.409.5347

Space Is Limited.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Abkhazian Dinner Event In Motion: Behind The Scenes #2

Sue says she’s “vibrating.” Immersing herself for most of the entire past weekend doing her New Horizons Curriculum Development work for the coming Abkhazian Dinner, she sent me this note this morning in an email.

Sue says she's
"vibrating" today.
“I am positively vibrating with ... let's see what... anticipation, fullness, hope, awe, ... yes also a touch of fear... did I leave out something important? Can this be good enough?” 
Sue deVeer, March 19, 2012.

Oh, my. Oh, my. Did Sue ever take herself to the edge of “curriculum development” this time! Oh, my. Oh, my. She dug in to everything she had at hand to come up with a wonderfully edited interpretation of Murat’s famous “bus ride story” as he presents it in his monograph, “Building Up A Kebzeh Community.” This story is to be our Abkhazian Dinner event’s feature. Then she expanded beyond Murat’s story to create a delicious, specially designed for our Abkhazian Dinner “conversation guideline.”

Well, I tell you I was wowed by what she had done!

I hope lots of people come out for our event, on behalf of the Season For Non-Violence.

They will be in for a bit of on the spot transforming or I will eat my words instead of our traditional Abkhazian Dinner foods.

Yum. Yum.
Reservations still open.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Abkhazian Dinner Event In Motion: Behind The Scenes

Who would have thought that a March day, especially a day before St. Patrick's Day, would see Sue and I sitting outdoors in the sunshine, preparing our program for March 25. But there we were, yesterday, in 70 degree plus weather, co-creating, plotting and planning our fourth Abkhazian Dinner working together; happy as we could be, doing one of the things we've come to excel at over the past five or six years; co-creating.

No doubt, today, spring is on
its way.
Our coming event is to be the sixth or seventh Abkhazian Dinner event New Horizons has presented since 2000. We had intended to present many Abkhazian Dinners since that inaugural event. We wanted so much to share the wisdom and the teachings Murat Yagan has generously gifted to us, as well as to the many others whose lives he has touched.

We wanted people around us to take a look at these teachings as a means of doing our part to build a healthier, more harmonious U.S.A. However, my eye surgeries and the overall wear and tear on me during my years of being blind and recovering from that challenge (1998 – 2006) rearranged that priority.

But we are back on track now, if we will be so blessed and ever so happy to be so!

There is much to share; so many stories of my own personal journey of transformation, intrinsically interwoven with how critically important community is to me. Murat brought the certainty into my life that we can, intentionally, co-create AWE in our communities. This is a whole series of stories by itself; Murat's, the stories of others around him who live this truth and my own. Then there are Sue's stories. And, now, for our Abkhazian Dinner event we have, also, added the stories of our guest presenter, Mayor Deborah Burgoyne of Burkittsville, Maryland.

The main story for our Abkhazian Dinner event will, delightfully, be Murat's "Bus Ride Story" which we intend to introduce as a way of inviting community-unity building storytelling (as time allows) for our event guests. This story is a powerful community building story, if I ever heard one. It is excerpted from Murat’s “Building Up A Kebzeh Community” monograph which will be on sale at our Abkhazian Dinner event.

Storytelling, as the Possible Human, Possible Society Study has made me appreciate more than ever is one of the most impactful vehicles for clearing a path to peace. It leaves us knowing the truth that "an enemy is someone whose story we have not yet heard."

Now I am off to sit outside, again, in the warm sunshine, polishing up my own opening story for the dinner. I think this planning process is about to bring forth a few more stories of our behind the scenes preparation process. So please come back for more as we head into our final Abkhazian Dinner preparations. (I hope I don’t end up here promising more than I can deliver. My recent blog posting track record has not been much.)